The bad news: Peggy does not fight anyone atop a moving truck in this week’s Agent Carter. The good news: Jarvis attempts to speak in an American accent. I’d say it’s a fair trade.
Agent Carter Series Premiere Recap: Peggy Does Howard Stark’s Dirty Work >>>
A Rare Display of Competence
“Time and Tide” opens with the boys of the SSR actually doing something for a change and finding Green Suit Man’s apartment. He has many a fake passport, so they aren’t actually any closer to discovering his identity. And even though they have Leet Brannis’ body, they can’t figure out who he is; the real Leet Brannis died several years earlier during the war. But hey, A for effort.
They finally manage to get a solid lead when the license plate found at last week’s implosion site is identified as belonging to Howard Stark. Unfortunately, Peggy is at the Stark mansion when Thomas and Sousa arrive to investigate. Her neighbor’s promiscuity had given her an idea about how to track the items stolen from Howard’s vault. But Chad Michael Murray does what Chad Michael Murray does best and ruins everything. Jarvis lets Thomas arrest him rather than exposing Peggy’s extracurricular activities by allowing them to search the house.
Jarvis had filed a stolen car report for the car involved in the factory implosion, but Chief Screw-the-Rules is pretending it’s lost to give Thomas more time in interrogation. For a while, Jarvis manages to foil him with British sass. But they have something on him even Peggy doesn’t know about: Jarvis was dishonorably discharged from the British military and charged with treason. The charge was dropped, but it’s more than enough to get him and his possibly imaginary wife deported. The wife, it turns out, is Jarvis’ berserker button. He’s fairly cool until Thomas begins to threaten her. After that, it’s unclear whether even his loyalty to Howard could prevent him from talking.
Bad Day at the Office
Peggy is smarter than me. She is smarter than all of us, really. She grabs the stolen car report under the guise of feminine filing duties and announces that she accidentally took it in front of Jarvis. Armed with the knowledge that they can no longer hold him, Jarvis regains his cool and tells Thomas to talk to his lawyer.
I give Peggy a lot of credit for using her colleagues’ ignorance against them. They think she’s inferior, so she pretends to stay ahead of them. But now we see for the first time some of what that costs. Dooley chews her out in front of Thomas and in hearing range of the entire office. It’s humiliating and degrading and there’s nothing Peggy can say in her own defense. Imagine being that smart and capable and being forced to pretend you’re not, simply because there’s no other way to get anything done. As much as I want to be Peggy, I don’t envy her.
Fresh off of that trauma, Peggy has a falling-out with new BFF Angie. Angie’s is an aggressive kind of friendship. She wants to hang out and drink with Peggy, but Peggy has world-saving to do, and Angie is pissed at being brushed off. I mean, to be fair, you did just barge into someone’s room and demand they hang out with you. She’s allowed to say no. But Angie leaves in a tiff, stopping only to meet new neighbor Donnie who I assume will be relevant in future episodes.
Peggy meets Jarvis at the mansion to finally investigate the scene of the break-in. Howard’s house is so massive that “investigating a break-in” actually means “spelunking until the bottom-most layer is reached.” Does this display of wealth hurt my student loan-having heart? Yes, yes it does.
After about two minutes of trying to convince herself that she doesn’t need to know about Jarvis’ treason charge, Peggy realizes that she really needs to know. Naturally, it’s a completely honorable reason. Jarvis forged a general’s signature on papers to allow Anna, a Jewish woman, to escape Hungary during the war. Anna would later become his wife. Howard saved them both by getting them out of trouble and into America, thus inspiring Jarvis’ undying loyalty. It’s a very sweet story, though it would have been fun if Jarvis was secretly a double agent or something. Out of character, but fun.
Murder Most Foul
Satisfied that Jarvis is still as delightful as a perfectly made cup of tea, Peggy figures out the break-in mystery in roughly three seconds. She realizes that the thief probably used a raft to float the goods down the flooded sewer and into the nearby dock. And at the dock, she finds a large boat with the heart symbol Brannis drew in the ground as he died. Bingo.
Once aboard the boat, Peggy and Jarvis have no trouble finding the goods. It’s what to do with them that causes an issue. Peggy wants to turn them in to SSR, but Jarvis points out the obvious problem and central conflict of the show; even this completely respectable act of detective work will not make her coworkers respect her. They’ll only use it as a means of strengthening their preconceived notion of her as more trouble than she’s worth. She can take down the Red Skull, but in this regard, Peggy is powerless.
Peggy agrees to let Jarvis call the find in anonymously. While he’s gone, a very, very strong man attacks her. He was clearly hired to guard Howard’s products, but that’s all we really know about him. Peggy puts up a good fight, but there is no realistic way that she would have the physical strength to take this guy down. Luckily, she has Jarvis, ingenuity and access to Howard’s truly horrifying inventions.
Sousa and Krzeminski get Jarvis’ call and, subsequently, the credit for the discovery. Sousa at least has the good sense to find this suspicious. Krzeminski, who has never been accused of having good sense, does not. And that’s a problem, because a mysterious fedora’d man has been lurking in the shadows for about 20 minutes now. Krzeminski drives the strong man towards the station when he mentions a British woman attacking him on the boat. Krzeminski’s two brain cells begin to communicate but, alas, not quickly enough. Mysterious Shadow Man shoots both him and the strong man dead.
Bad Day at the Office, Part 2
Peggy learns of Krzeminski’s death when she arrives at work the next day. Everyone is rightly devastated, including Peggy herself. The tragedy only fuels Dooley’s single-minded pursuit of Howard, which does not bode well for the future. The episode ends with Peggy repairing her and Angie’s friendship with a heart-to-heart and the promise of alcohol. If that isn’t friendship, then I don’t know what is.
It’s too hard to fit all the great things about this show into a recap structure. Here are some of my favorite moments. Share yours in the comments!
- Jarvis’ American accent. If Big Ben and the Queen’s corgis had a baby, it would be almost as British as Jarvis.
- “The death ray is accounted for.”
- The general respect Agent Carter has for the importance of female friendships.
- “I’ll call his wife.” “I’ll call his girlfriend.”
- Jimmy and his 1940s struggle just to get some.
Agent Carter airs Tuesdays at 9pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)